Home of the Chunichi Dragons professional baseball team, the Nagoya Dome stadium in Nagoya, Japan, is also a major concert and event venue. This 50,000-capacity stadium has finally completed an extended programme of upgrading its sound systems, and is now enjoying the benefits of a major new NEXO GEO S12-ST line array PA installation.
The upgrading project actually began in 2011, but work had to be done in the very short off-season for professional baseball; the installation of the loudspeakers was split over a period of two years.
Mr Yoshihiro Hattori from the Facilities Department of Nagoya Dome Co.Ltd talks through the timeline. “The first step was to update the control console in the control room, installing a Yamaha PM5D digital mixer. The speaker systems had been in place since the Dome opened in 1997, and there was an increasing incidence of failures as it became more difficult to get repair parts for discontinued loudspeaker models. In the fifth floor stands, there were some locations where we had difficulty with coverage. Making improvements to these seats was one of the goals of our upgrade.”
Mr Hattori and his team, working closely with Yamaha Sound Systems, started the loudspeaker upgrade by replacing the centre cluster, and then the stand-facing satellite clusters, which are in 18 locations facing the upper stands in each direction. They chose NEXO’s GEO S12-ST extended throw line array modules: these cabinets have been developed from the standard GEO S12 concert sound design to deliver higher SPL (volume) and the enhanced speech intelligibility required for stadium and arena applications.
The main cluster in the centre of the arena consists of line arrays with 4x NEXO GEO S1210-ST units and one GEO S1230-ST unit, facing in six directions, and 3x GEO S1210-ST units facing straight down. The satellite clusters consist of 2 or 3 NEXO GEO S1230-ST units in a line array configuration, firing into the upper stands. All power and processing is provided by NEXO NXAMP4x4 TD controller/amplifiers.
“The sensation and feeling of the sound has improved very considerably,” says Mr Hattori. “Previously, there was the sense that sound echoed through the whole dome, but when I sat in the stands during a professional baseball game, I felt the sound had more impact than before, and as if the sound was coming directly towards me. It felt close and exciting. I felt that way particularly when listening to the sound effects from the screen.”
Nagoya Dome has a remarkable 106 metre-wide screen, the longest and biggest size for a home stadium in the Central League. “We expanded the screen, tripling the visual impact for fans, but the sound had remained the same, so we couldn’t help but feel there was something lacking. With the NEXO system, the feeling of the sound has dramatically improved, so the images and sound feel more united, and fans are experiencing images and sound with even more impact.”
YAMAHA SOUND SYSTEMS INC.